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Corrections

Jun 07 2022

The Housing Market Is A Trip!

  • Jun 7, 2022

In mid-May, S&P 500 Homebuilders officially became a COVID “round-tripper”: After a one-month COVID collapse of 53% and an ensuing rally of almost 250%, this year’s selloff drove Homebuilders to a May 11th close that was a few ticks below its pre-COVID high. Imagine what might happen if the housing market cracks? 

Mar 17 2022

Special Study: Should You Buy The Dip? Some Statistical Considerations…

  • Mar 17, 2022

The correction in the S&P 500 since its high on January 3rd qualifies as a “severe” correction, which we define as a decline of at least -12% based on daily closing prices. What are the odds that it becomes a “major” decline*—in which the loss exceeds -19%?

In Section I, we review the history of severe corrections since 1950. In Section II, those corrections are analyzed in the context of the economic cycle, consumer sentiment, and other underlying factors—ones that might help us determine if today’s stock-market weakness is “buyable.” 

Feb 24 2022

The Market Is Off Its Meds!

  • Feb 24, 2022

Well before the war drums in Eastern Europe began to beat, this stock market correction had already been marching to a different beat. The market’s confusion might be understandable, because—unlike during most of the post-GFC corrections—it has so far failed to “self-medicate!”

A persistent feature of stock market declines in the past 13 years has been that they have typically triggered a simultaneous falloff in bond yields.

Aug 23 2021

Can Mo Outrun A Bear?

  • Aug 23, 2021

Hiker #1: Can you run faster than that hungry bear looking at us?

Hiker #2: I don’t need to run faster than the bear, I just need to run faster than you.

The Momentum style of investing has a long history of generating excess returns, and ranks near the top of the list of essential smart beta factors. However, Momentum also has a dark side; it is prone to severe drawdowns whenever the market makes a significant reversal.

May 07 2021

The “Tape” Doesn’t Always “Tell All”

  • May 7, 2021

Technicians are collectively bullish because of the absence of any serious internal divergences. But, severe corrections can erupt with little, or no advance warning from a deterioration in breadth and leadership. In fact, the first few years of the last bull market  provided two such examples (mid-2010 and mid-2011). 

Sep 05 2020

Foreign Stocks Party Like It’s The “2010s”

  • Sep 5, 2020

The most likely catalysts for improved relative performance of foreign stocks would be: (1) a bear market; (2) a recession; and, (3) a major downturn in the U.S. dollar. This year has supplied all three, yet the relative strength ratios of most foreign equity composites continue to grind lower as if it’s “business as usual.”

May 07 2019

Bull Markets Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

  • May 7, 2019

The market’s four-month recovery from the brink of a bear was completed in April, and the ten-year-old bull looks better than ever against all of its post-World War II competitors.

Mar 22 2019

Partying Like It’s 1998-99

  • Mar 22, 2019

We thought Jerome Powell’s “Christmas Capitulation” would be tough to beat, but he accomplished that two days ago with what could be called his “Spring Surrender.” That, in turn, has rekindled hopes of a stock market melt-up along the lines of 1998-99, which, as old-timers will remember, followed a late-cycle correction that was nearly identical to the one seen last year.

 

Mar 07 2019

The Correction In Historical Context

  • Mar 7, 2019

While it’s too early to let the ink dry on the accompanying table and chart, we’ve decided to add last year’s decline for comparative purposes.

Feb 07 2019

A High-Risk Rally

  • Feb 7, 2019

During the market bounce over the last few weeks, we reminded ourselves and others of the old maxim that “bear market rallies look better than the real thing.” Evidently, the stock market overheard us and took the advice as marching orders.
 

Jan 25 2019

Leuthold Quick Takes: Cyclical Bear Or Recovery Refresh?

  • Jan 25, 2019

The fourth quarter selloff and subsequent rebound, as seen by Doug Ramsey (Chief Investment Officer) and Jim Paulsen (Chief Investment Strategist).

Jan 25 2019

Leuthold Quick Takes: Cyclical Bear Or Recovery Refresh?

  • Jan 25, 2019

The fourth quarter selloff and subsequent rebound, as seen by Doug Ramsey (Chief Investment Officer) and Jim Paulsen (Chief Investment Strategist).

Jan 08 2019

The Market Is Off Its Meds!

  • Jan 8, 2019

While investors obsess over the market level at which a hypothetical “Powell Put” might come into play (or whether such a put even exists), they seem to have overlooked the absence of another such put that proved dependable throughout the cyclical bull market.

Nov 16 2018

Correction Creating Values?

  • Nov 16, 2018

While the consensus view remains that October’s stock market rout was “healthy” and “overdue,” we think it was  more likely the first leg down of much larger decline. But it’s still worth reviewing the improvement in valuations that market losses and this year’s excellent fundamentals have combined to produce.  

 

Nov 02 2018

Goldilocks, Meet The Three Bears

  • Nov 2, 2018

During the stock market’s protracted retracement of its January/February decline, we speculated a few times that the final outcome might look similar to the bull market tops of 1990, 2000, and 2007.

Sep 08 2018

Breakout Or Fake-Out?

  • Sep 8, 2018

The S&P 500 has fully erased its January and February losses, but there’s probably a market message in the fact that it took so long to do so.

Aug 07 2018

Assessing The Correction

  • Aug 7, 2018

How do today’s cyclical conditions stack up with those accompanying other stock market declines? 

Aug 07 2018

A Launching Pad??

  • Aug 7, 2018

A few clients pointed out that the longest-ever recovery from an intermediate correction (Apr. 1994–Feb. 1995) became the base from which the S&P 500 would eventually triple over the next five years. We’re not equipped to address that possibility in an objective fashion, so we’ll let you be the judge.

Jul 07 2018

Trouble Is “Spreading”

  • Jul 7, 2018

Junk bond option-adjusted spreads (OAS) have remained relatively tight throughout the stock market pullback and recovery (Chart 1), assuring some bulls that the action is nothing more sinister than a “healthy and overdue” correction.

Jul 07 2018

Where’s The Spring In The Step?

  • Jul 7, 2018

Old age alone may not kill the bull, but it can make it more susceptible to an array of life-threatening maladies.

Jun 07 2018

Is The Bull Just Napping?

  • Jun 7, 2018

Old age has certainly put no limitations on the bull’s exploits, so we should be cautious in reading too much into its meandering recovery path. However, it’s possible that action since the February low is not a recovery process but rather a countertrend bounce within a larger downtrend.

May 05 2018

The “Correction” Clock Is Ticking

  • May 5, 2018

2018’s S&P 500 setback qualifies as an “intermediate” correction. Historically, the duration of intermediate corrections is brief, and recovery time to move back above prior highs has also been brief. This year’s retracement route is already among the most meandering of all recovery paths since 1950.

May 04 2018

Market Corrections And The Hazards Of Old Age

  • May 4, 2018

In difficult markets, we have become more appreciative of some of life’s small gifts. For example, it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard it argued that this is “the most hated bull market of all time.”

Apr 06 2018

Assessing The Selling

  • Apr 6, 2018

While the January 26th bull market high illustrated none of the hallmarks of a major cyclical top, there are secondary signs that a stealthy distribution process may be underway, such as an overwhelming bias toward opening market strength followed by intraday weakness.

Apr 06 2018

A “Drug-Free” Market Decline?

  • Apr 6, 2018

Yields on 10-year Treasuries are up 10 bps since stocks peaked in January, a clear break from the behavior of prior corrections. The last four stock declines of 10%+ were self-medicating—having been accompanied by bond yield declines of 50 to 150 basis points.

Apr 06 2018

“What, Me Worry?”

  • Apr 6, 2018

Our shortest-term put/call measure has yet to reflect the level of fear usually triggered by a correction of this size. Meanwhile, the market setback has done almost nothing to stymy the optimism of either market newsletter writers or mutual fund timers.

Mar 07 2018

What’s Ailing Consumer Staples?

  • Mar 7, 2018

For the first time in this bull market, defensive stocks failed to provide any semblance of defense during a market correction.

Mar 07 2018

Nine Corrections In Nine Years

  • Mar 7, 2018

The stock market’s nine-day decline off its January 26th high met our definition of an intermediate correction—an S&P 500 loss of between 7-12%.

Mar 07 2018

The Correction That Scared No One

  • Mar 7, 2018

The setback from the January 26th market peak represents the ninth correction of 7% or more since 2009, the most ever recorded during a single cyclical bull market.

Feb 07 2018

Stock Market Observations

  • Feb 7, 2018

We believe the decline from the broadly-inclusive market highs of late January is a yet another late-cycle correction and not the first installment of something more sinister.

Feb 07 2018

Most Likely Just A Correction

  • Feb 7, 2018

So, what happened to the January Barometer—the old analyst’s maxim that a market gain in January portends a gain for the full year?

Jan 06 2018

2018 Time Cycle—Beware A Fall Correction

  • Jan 6, 2018

The most common 2018 time-cycle pattern among major markets is a fall correction, with the U.S. and Japan faring better than their European counterparts.

Aug 05 2017

Stock Market Observations

  • Aug 5, 2017

The S&P 500 and DJIA were up 10-11% on the year through early August—solid, but not quite the “melt-up” scenario we’d envisioned earlier this year…We think S&P 500 2,550-2,600 will be achieved, but not until year-end…

Aug 05 2017

Cashing In A Few Chips

  • Aug 5, 2017

Through early August, the S&P 500 had matched last year’s total return gain of 12%, while futures on that index have gained more than 20% from their after-hours lows made on election night.

Mar 07 2017

What A Strong “Tape” Does (And Doesn’t) Mean

  • Mar 7, 2017

Our disciplines remain bullish, but we periodically wonder whether we’re being too cavalier in keeping our tactical portfolios “almost” fully-invested (at 65% equities) in the face of valuations that are higher than those seen in all but perhaps 24 months of stock market history.

May 06 2016

Valuations: The Correction That Never Was

  • May 6, 2016

The correction failed to meaningfully “reset” any long-term valuation measures, hence, we don’t view the current environment as having much investment merit, but rather, primarily speculative appeal.

Apr 07 2016

Ruminations On The Correction

  • Apr 7, 2016

If our market disciplines turn bullish in the weeks ahead, we’ll certainly follow that lead—covering remaining shorts, re-establishing a semi-aggressive market position, and wiping egg off our faces for having called a “cyclical bear market” that slammed the Russell 2000 (-26%), EAFE (-26%), and Emerging Markets (-37%)… but somehow not the one most followed, the S&P 500 (-14%).

Mar 08 2016

Just A Costly Correction?

  • Mar 8, 2016

If February 11th marks a lasting low for stocks, the 2015-16 decline will go down as one of the costliest in history not to have reached bear market status.

Feb 05 2016

Beware The Deceptive S&P…

  • Feb 5, 2016

At its January 20th closing low, the S&P 500’s peak-to-trough decline of –12.7% barely met our definition of a severe market correction (an S&P 500 loss of 12% to 18%). But the behavior of this particular index can be quite sinister during the final phase of a bull market—and during much of the ensuing bear.

Feb 05 2016

The Bullish Case: A Mental Exercise

  • Feb 5, 2016

We’ve been correctly positioned near our tactical portfolios’ equity minimums, yet we’re oddly compelled to use this month’s “Of Special Interest” section as a very public second-guessing of that move.